Charlotte’s Mike McGuire to become Grant Thornton CEO in 2015

Mike McGuire, a longtime Charlotte business leader, will become CEO of Grant Thornton LLP in January, the company has announced.

McGuire, 55, will succeed current chief executive Stephen Chipman on Jan. 1, taking the helm of one of the world’s largest accounting firms.

McGuire, a Charlotte resident of more than 30 years, became national managing partner of operations for Grant Thornton last summer – a role equivalent to chief operating officer. McGuire oversees the day-to-day operations for the firm’s 56 U.S. offices.

McGuire couldn’t immediately be reached Tuesday. In a 2012 interview, he spoke with the Observer about the importance of a strong company culture. “To create culture any business has to first figure out what they stand for, what the core values of the organization are,” he said. “That’s reflected in their customer experience.”

McGuire joined Grant Thornton after a longtime tenure at Arthur Andersen, which was indicted by the U.S. government for its involvement with the Enron scandal. McGuire, who had been a partner in Arthur Andersen’s Carolinas practice, said the scandal was his first real test of leadership.

“Everybody was devastated,” he said in the interview. “But ... no matter how bad you have it, somebody has it worse, so don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself.”

Grant Thornton’s U.S. headquarters are in Chicago, but McGuire stayed in Charlotte after his promotion last year. He’s on the boards of the Charlotte Chamber, Queens University of Charlotte and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.